Richard Kadrey is the author of ten novels in the bestselling Sandman Slim dark fantasy series. His latest is a significant departure from those books, a standalone fantasy that looks like a breakout book, and it’s winning him new fans and getting a lot of attention. NPR calls The Grand Dark “the work of a major science fiction/fantasy creator,” and Kirkus says it’s “Wildly ambitious and inventive fantasy from an author who’s punching above his weight in terms of worldbuilding — and winning.” Here’s the publisher’s description.
The Great War is over. The city of Lower Proszawa celebrates the peace with a decadence and carefree spirit as intense as the war’s horrifying despair. But this newfound hedonism — drugs and sex and endless parties — distracts from strange realities of everyday life: Intelligent automata taking jobs. Genetically engineered creatures that serve as pets and beasts of war. A theater where gruesome murders happen twice a day. And a new plague that even the ceaseless euphoria can’t mask.
Unlike others who live strictly for fun, Largo is an addict with ambitions. A bike messenger who grew up in the slums, he knows the city’s streets and its secrets intimately. His life seems set. He has a beautiful girlfriend, drugs, a chance at a promotion — and maybe, an opportunity for complete transformation: a contact among the elite who will set him on the course to lift himself up out of the streets.
But dreams can be a dangerous thing in a city whose mood is turning dark and inward. Others have a vision of life very different from Largo’s, and they will use any methods to secure control. And in behind it all, beyond the frivolity and chaos, the threat of new war always looms.
The Grand Dark was published by Harper Voyager on June 11, 2019. It is 432 pages, priced at $26.99 in hardcover and $12.99 in digital formats. The cover was designed by Will Staehle. Listen to a 5-minute audio excerpt at the HarperCollins website.